WASHINGTON In the wake of his election night loss, incumbent Democrat John Salazar conceded the 3rd District race to his Republican opponent Scott Tipton in a statement distributed Wednesday.
For the last six years I have given my heart and soul to the people of the 3rd Congressional District. I have no regrets,, and I want to thank my constituents for the honor of representing the most beautiful district in the country, Salazar, D-Manassa, said in the statement.
A spokesperson for the Salazar campaign said the congressman was unavailable for interviews.
Tipton beat Salazar 50 to 46 percent with all precincts reporting, or about a 12,000-vote margin. The race was considered a tossup by many news organizations, and the result was not declared until late Tuesday.
Salazar said he called Tipton on Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his victory.
The race was a rematch of 2006, when Salazar decisively defeated Tipton by more than 25 percentage points.
In his statement, Salazar thanked his supporters and campaign staff while emphasizing the work he did during his six years in Congress on clean drinking water and veterans affairs.
After six years of the fighting and bickering in Washington, Im ready to spend more time with my family, Salazar, who works as a farmer, said in the statement. Ill always be a farmer and rancher at heart. Its what I was born to do. Now its time to pick up my shovel and go back to work.
Though Salazar was among a class of Democrats labeled Blue Dog Democrats for their moderate to conservative positions, he was not immune to the tea party-led, anti-incumbent sentiment that swept scores of Democrats out of Congress.
Analysts have said he was late recognizing the threat represented by Tipton because of the ease with which he dispatched the Cortez businessman in 2006.